Academic Forum

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Jan Völkel (campusdichter 2016)

Op Nationale Gedichtendag, 28 januari 2016, werd Jan Völkel door jury en publiek verkozen tot Campusdichter van 2016. Jan is een 24 jaar jonge Duitse Research Master student Social and Behavioral Sciences. In de loop van 2016 is de Campusdichter op verschillende evenementen opgetreden met gedichten over het leven op en rondom de campus. Ook trad hij regelmatig samen op met de Tilburgse stadsdichter Martin Beversluis.

Jan Völkel

Tijdens zijn campusdichterschap heeft Jan met maandelijkse 'Poetry Cafés' geprobeerd op de campus zoveel mogelijk mensen te stimuleren hun eigen creativiteit te ontplooien: ‘Poëzie kan door en voor iedereen geschreven worden.’ Verder organiseerde Jan - in nauwe samenwerking met Academic Forum - bijeenkomsten zoals 'Expression: The Campus Poetry Slam in Tilburg' en de 'Poetry Nightmare', waarmee een bescheiden maar actieve dichtersgemeenschap in Tilburg ontstond.

Jan schrijft over ervaringen, over dubbelzinnigheid, en over zijn interesse voor wetenschap. Soms werd hij ook gevraagd om over actuele onderwerpen of gebeurtenissen op de universiteit te schrijven. Gedurende het jaar heeft hij vaak moeite gehad met het vinden van de juiste balans tussen enerzijds metaforische vrijheid en anderzijds feitelijkheid in zijn poëtische geschriften, maar de vele ontmoetingen met zijn medeschrijvers heeft zijn kijk op het schrijven verrijkt en het jaar als campusdichter tot een geweldig leuke en leerzame ervaring gemaakt.

Optredens & evenementen: een overzicht (English)>>


January: Radio Interview and Interview with Universe

February, 25th: Language Cafe

February, 27th: Open Day of Tilburg University

March: Published a poem in De Titaan

March, 23th: First Poetry Cafe

April, 6th: Second Poetry Cafe

April, 13th: Come and Write

April, 14th: Wrote poem for Sapienta’s booklet for their 15th anniversary)

April, 20th: Third Poetry Cafe

April, 23th: World Book Day Tilburg

April, 27th: Come and Write

May, 4th: Come and Write

May, 9th: Change the tune

May, 1tth: Fourth Poetry Cafe

May, 18th: Expression: The Campus Poetry Slam in Tilburg
May, 19th: Language and Translation (organized by Animo and Sapientia Ludenda)

September, 20th: Amnesty Late Night

October, 5th: Face Your Fears

October, 5th: Poetry Nightmare

November, 15th: Amnesty Late Night

November, 16th: First Winter Poetry Café

November, 29th: Politiek Cafe Buskruit

November, 30th: Second Winter Poetry Café

December, 14th: Third Winter Poetry Café

December, 22nd: Opening of Simon Building


January, 18th: Fourth Winter Poetry Café

January, 26th: Poetry Party


Bekijk één van de gedichten waarmee Jan Völkel de titel Campusdichter 2016 won, Campus Life':


My Friend and I

My Friend and I

My Friend and I:

My friend and I would like to play soccer.
They say, he can, but you can’t because you are white.

My friend and I would like to study math.
They say, she can, but you can’t because you are male.

My friends and I would like to have sex.
They say, they can, but you can’t because you are smart.

My friend and I would like to leave the church.
They say, she can, but you can’t because you are straight.

My friends and I would like to live in the Netherlands.
They say, she can, but you can’t because you are from (Belgium) Syria.

Doubts of a (Grown-Up) Child

Doubts of a (Grown-Up) Child

How can I make
the most important decision
based on some intuitions
that could be right
or just as well wrong.

I mean ..

I could study law
to become an activist
for innocent animals
who don’t know
how to fight for their rights.

I could study philosophy
to become a wise person
for habitual skeptics
who still want to find
the meaning of their lives.

I could study math
to become a therapist
for struggling students
who just want to have
consistency in their lives.

I could study psychology
to become a better person
for my significant others
who are so kind and thoughtful
in accepting me every day.

But what if I fail
my first three exams,
how should I explain that to my mum.

What if I succeed
just to realize
that I wanna do something else.

My biggest fear

My biggest fear

I sit down and everything is well planned
eyes on the screen and smartphone in my hand.
I am waiting for the green circle and the yellow letter,
and sweat quite a lot in my yellow sweater.
But I mean even if you text - which words can you find
as negative words always stick much better in the mind.
Relationship satisfaction is a number, is a function of sensation,
dependent on happiness, but much more on lacking deprivation.
So of course, you can swear your love in any way,
but five declarations are gone if you are mute for one day.
And I, I never got the rules of this game,
Is this about luck, about protection or just about blame.
I mean my thoughts aren’t clear, rather drifting away
But my freedom of clutching is a transcultural fail.
We were doomed in the US and in other states of the world,
The frown will stay when the sails are already furled.
And I mean what do I want – what do I want from you, Heather?
Isn’t freedom the nice thing about being together?
But then, who is it calling you day after day,
Who promises you that – whatever happens - I will stay.
Who is disappointed when you don’t respond,
Who keeps asking you questions about our bond?
Yeah I, I bring this words in when we go on air,
With laughing and blinking – but the reproach is still there.
I mean it is not about you, don’t worry, it is something greater
I just have to rethink this and I see you then later.

Searching and Guessing

Searching and Guessing

when the rain is white and solid
and the light already dark
when the floor is full of clothes
and the stomach full of chips
he doesn’t know how she can phone
their mom the other day

when the clouds are strong and lonely
and the cars about to start
when the fridge is fully empty
and the shower stays just cold
she doesn’t know how he can show
how happy they just are

when the girl with the leather jacket
asks politely for a chair
when the boy called the dreamer
can’t stop looking at his phone

when the person with the clicker
waits for the first question of the class
when two former lovers
see each other for their second first time

when they could choose to be a rainbow
what colors would they be
when they could choose the colors
what difference would it make?